Accusing the government of not making the full payment to farmers in lieu of purchase of their wheat crop, Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader Abhay Chautala along with his supporters sat on a dharna in Sirsa on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar claimed that they have made most of the payment to the arhtiyas (commission agents) to transfer the same in the bank accounts of the farmers.
Chautala, the MLA from Ellenabad constituency of Sirsa district, alleged that till now the government has procured 75 lakh metric tonne wheat from the farmers. “Out of the total payment of about Rs 16,000 crore against the procurement, the farmers have received only Rs 1,600 crore,” claimed Chautala.
The wheat procurement in Haryana had begun on April 20 this year, though it started taking place effectively from April 23 as many of the arhtiyas had remained on strike for first three days. “The government claims payment to the farmers within 72 hours but more that 60 per cent of the farmers have been forced to visit the offices of government procurement agencies or arhtiyas seeking release of their payments. Instead of any bonus to the farmers, the government is even delaying the payment of their crops,” said the INLD leader.
On the other hand, Khattar said that if arhtiyas delay the payment, then they will have to give the amount to the farmers along with interest. “Except for Rs 600 crore or Rs 700 crore, the entire payment has been made to the arhtiyas. Initially, the payment was released with a delay of 8-10 days because of new system of payment to the farmers,” said Khattar.
The chief minister said that they were trying to introduce a system to make the payment directly into the accounts of farmers for the past three years but the arhtiyas urged every year to defer it. “Finally, this time, a new system was introduced under which the payment to the farmers was made to their bank accounts through arhtiyas but under the monitoring of government. Some arhtiyas created hurdles, but most of them supported the new system,” said Khattar.
The procurement of mustard had began little early than wheat in Haryana mandis. However, according to Chautala, the farmers are yet to receive payment of Rs 700 crore in lieu of the mustard procurement. The former Leader of Opposition announced a big dharna on June 9 if the government fails to make payment of farmers by then.
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